Natural stone such as marble, limestone, travertine, granite, and slate can help to add a touch of timeless sophistication to the entryway of your home, hallway, kitchen counters, bathroom vanity, and more. However, many homeowners will stay away from natural stone materials because they have heard how delicate they are. From etching, dullness, and cracks, there is a lot to worry about with natural stone. However, when natural stone is treated right it has the ability to last you a lifetime.
You may recall from your high school geology class that natural stone falls into one of three basic geological classifications: metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous. When it comes to cleaning, you also need to be aware of whether your stone countertop or bathroom tile is calcareous or siliceous.
Calcareous stone, composed primarily of the chemical compound calcium carbonate, is particularly sensitive to acid. A pH-balanced, non-acidic gentle soap is recommended for these stones, which include limestone, travertine, onyx, marble, and serpentine.
“Siliceous stone is a better choice for your kitchen as it stands up to acid found in founds as well as acidic cleansers,” says Al Vallellanes, general manager of Seal Team One. Vallellanes has 27 years of experience in stone fabrication and restoration. Siliceous stones include granite, slate, quartzite, soapstone, and sandstone.
Seven do’s and don’t for cleaning natural stone surfaces
Tips for quick-and-easy everyday cleaning of all-natural stone include:
Start with a damp, soft cloth or sponge and a dab of pH-neutral soap (most dishwasher soap is fine).
Using an abrasive cleanser or even the rough side of a sponge may strip away the sealant as well as damage the stone over time.
For crusted-on food or soap scum, use a brush with soft bristles and clean in circular motions to avoid scratching the surface.
Always dry surfaces with a soft towel or blow-dryer immediately after cleaning to avoid spotting.
Avoid cleaning products that aren’t specifically formulated for natural stone. Make sure if you’re using a glass cleaner to wipe smudges on a mirror over a marble vanity top that none gets on the stone.
Shake out doormats and rugs on a regular basis to minimize tracking outside dirt that may potentially scratch stone floors.
Damp mop stone floors to wipe away abrasive particles, and be sure not to drag items – including vacuum attachments – across the floor.
The right sealant makes the difference
Natural stones are riddled with sponge-like capillaries, or veins, that absorb liquids. The biggest mistake people make is putting too much trust in sealant, which can protect the surface from stains but doesn’t prevent discoloration or etching. “Most sealants are topical and can repel a spilled glass of wine or soap scum, slowing down damage over time,” says Vallellanes. “We use a new sealant that penetrates the surface and actually changes the molecular make-up of the stone, protecting it from within – without changing the appearance. Even acidic stains can be steamed out of the stone and, many times, completely removed.”
While sealant does make cleaning up easier, it doesn’t remove the need for daily maintenance to keep your stone surfaces gleaming. Quick daily wipe-downs can go a long way in avoiding build-up that requires potentially damaging scrubbing to remove or professional restoration.
The beauty of marble and other natural stones is that they never go out of style. Proper care and maintenance ensures years of enjoyment, and you’re certain to get a high return on your investment.
At Modern Stone Care, we are dedicated to providing the best natural stone cleaning in Houston. Our team works with all-natural stone materials including slate, marble, travertine, granite, limestone, and more, leaving you with a clean surface without negatively impacting these fragile materials. Natural stone can last a lifetime whenever it is properly cared for, that is why it has been a popular material for centuries, since the beginning of construction. However, when natural stone is not handled properly, you can easily damage it.
Natural Stone Services in Houston TX
At Modern Stone Care, our team of highly knowledgeable technicians specialize in the restoration, cleaning, polishing, and sealing of all-natural stone surfaces. This includes flooring, countertops, outdoor pool coping, and more. We work hard to ensure your natural stone maintains its beautiful and vibrant appearance for as long as possible. When it comes to the care of your delicate natural stone surfaces, leave it to the professionals at Modern Stone Care. We proudly serve The Greater Houston Area, including but not limited to Atascocita, Bellaire, Clear Lake, Cypress, Friendswood, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kemah, League City, Kingwood, Memorial, Missouri City, Montgomery County, Spring, Spring Branch, Stafford, Sugar Land, Tomball, and The Woodlands.